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High Desert Running: 16 Miler - Geek Turned Athlete

High Desert Running: 16 Miler

I was pretty much putting off my 16 miler all day long yesterday! I did have to stop at Performance Bike before it though to pick up another camelbak for my run.


There really isn’t a way to leave water bottles on the course, so I was happy to get this!


I also picked up a wind jacket for running and some new inserts for my shoes. I was ready to try out all it, but I was still procrastinating getting my butt out the door.


Finally, about 2 hours after I should have started, I finally got outside. It was actually beautiful out- for 52 degrees. 🙂


I settled into a rhythm right away surprisingly. The road that I run on while I am here is right next to an arroyo (ditch for you non New Mexicans) for some of the way.


There were lots of these little gaps in the road for the water to drain into the arroyos. Annoying since they were sort of steep even though it doesn’t look like it here.


I love the mountains here. I know that it looks brown and ugly to some people, but it is just amazing to me how all of these plants survive in such extreme temperature differences.



Prairie dogs were popping up everywhere. They are actually a protected species in Albuquerque because they are a keystone species.


This sign was saying don’t hurt them basically and that they are protected.


New home builders used to poison them because they were seen as a nuisance up until a few years ago. I think they are way cute. They are so curious too.


I will always be a southwestern girl. I LOVE it here. I love the culture, environment, and people here.


The run went well except for the strong headwinds and uphill for the first 8 miles. When I turned around, all of the sudden I had a crosswind not a tailwind. That kinda sucked too. Then there was the 15 minute pit stop at a Smiths for a bathroom break that made me even more late to a family dinner last night. I had just enough time to stretch and jump in the shower, then leave! Well that was of course after I returned 5 phone calls asking where I was during my run (when I wasn’t supposed to be anywhere). Ahh, the overbearing nosy Hispanic family. I forgot what that was like since I have been away. It is good to be back home. 🙂


I hope you all are getting in a great workout sometime this weekend! I just went on a 7 mile run. I have 10 mile race tomorrow in the Shamrock Race going on in Rio Rancho! My sis is running the 5K. I tried to get her to do the 10K, but she chickened out! Needless to say, the 10 mile run was out of the question for her as well. I’m actually running it with one of my best friends, and I’m so excited for her. Racing is a fairly new thing for her, and I’m glad that I was able to encourage her to start doing these things! I’m not running for a PR or anything. I told my friend that I would run with her at my recovery pace. We shall see if she gets annoyed at my talking (she likes to just run with her headphones. I used to be like that too!). If she tells me to go away and run ahead, I will. 🙂

Happy Weekend Everyone!!

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Leanne March 13, 2010, 7:09 pm

    These are awesome pics! I live on the east coast but in the fall took a trip to AZ and LOVED my runs there, especially the dry desert air! Great post.

  • Heather (Where's the Beach) March 13, 2010, 7:26 pm

    Good luck with your run tomorrow!! Love the pics. I’ve never been to New Mexico.

  • Nrmrvrk March 13, 2010, 7:27 pm

    When your new Camelbak blows out and leaks all over your phone again take a look at these bladder systems from Nathan:

    I see a lot of Ultra runner women wearing them at races. They seem pretty versatile and have pockets in front to keep stuff away from the bladder in the back. If people wear them for 100 mile runs, they must be somewhat comfortable.

    I don’t like the feel of anything on my back/shoulders so I run with hand held bottles that have the neoprene straps. Two of them get me ~14 miles before I have to find a spot to refill:

    So you ran 16 miles yesterday, then 7 today, and have a 10 mile race tomorrow? Geez. My legs would be just a tad rubbery for the race. 🙂

    Good luck with your sis and friend and race.

    • Nicole March 14, 2010, 12:18 am

      Yeah, well I really won’t be racing tomorrow since I’m running with one of my friends to cheer her on! Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be running so much! Thanks for the advice for the water! I hate carrying things in my hands when I run so the race vests would probably be the best option for me! 😉

  • LindsayRuns March 13, 2010, 8:48 pm

    Awesome job on your runs! I have never been to the desert before, but it does look beautiful. Those prairie dogs are cute! Good luck tomorrow!!

  • Erica March 13, 2010, 10:00 pm

    Nice job girl! Love all of your new purchases- such fun! Good luck at the race tomorrow 🙂 I will be thinking of ya

  • Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather March 13, 2010, 10:14 pm

    Glad you got a new camelbak! I just bought one and ran with it yesterday. I loved not having to hold a waterbottle. So worth it!

  • Alison March 13, 2010, 10:43 pm

    You are Hispanic? I totally figured you were Italian for some reason. I’m Cuban and know what you mean about all the phone calls (and drama!). Much of my family lives in PHX which is why my hubby and I are considering a move to the southwest.

    I can’t believe your heavy running schedule this weekend! I would need a day off. Good job!

    • Nicole March 14, 2010, 12:16 am

      Yeah, I usually get that or Greek. My mom is half spanish half mexican, and my dad is Norwegian. My sister is the brown one that actually looks hispanic! I got the curly hair though!

  • Mike March 13, 2010, 11:25 pm

    So what is the time goal for tomorrow?

    • Nicole March 14, 2010, 12:14 am

      Originally, I wanted to run a 8:15-8:25, but I told my friend that I would run with her. She has only done a 5K so far. We will probably be going at a 9:30 pace which is fast for her. I’m just happy she is running!

  • Amy March 14, 2010, 12:46 am

    As a wildlife ecologist (at least before getting married) my heart pitter pattered when you threw in keystone species. Thanks for all the great pics. We lived in ABQ for about 6 months while my husband finished up training and we have our fingers crossed that we’ll get it for our next assignment. 🙂

    • Nicole March 14, 2010, 1:33 am

      Aw yes, these critters are a big deal in the NM biology community. I minored in biology, and I was wondering if anyone would appreciate that extra bit of info added in!! 😉


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